Here Is Every. Four Decades of Contemporary Art

Tony Conrad. Yellow Movie 2/16–26/73. 1973

Tony Conrad. Yellow Movie 2/16-26/73. 1973

American, born 1940 Emulsion: Gull white flat interior latex. Magicolor No. 3011-11. Base: Studio white seamless paper, 120 x 107" (304.8 x 271.8 cm). Committee on Drawings Funds. © 2008 Tony Conrad. Image courtesy of Greene Naftali, New York

Artist, Tony Conrad: I'm Tony Conrad. Well, practically from the beginning I was interested in work that seemed to engage with people in a way that implied long spaces of time. And I guess it came naturally to me to be a filmmaker, a musician, a painter, a sculptor, a conceptualist, whatever the occasion called for.

When I got to New York in the early '60s, I was skeptical about art, but the film community seemed exciting because it was institutionally unattached. And at that time, I wanted filmmakers to pay a little attention to all of the things that had been going on in painting.

Well, it didn't exactly work, but a classic strategy was to make a film that would last a long time. Warhol made one that lasted 24 hours. This one was going to last 50 years. So this was made using the idea that cheap paint automatically changes color over time. I selected something particularly cheap. Gull White, flat, interior latex, by Magicolor. And this is just painted on the paper, and outlined to form the area of a movie. There's no way to measure the change that takes place in the Yellow Movie. Except that movies always happen and take place in your imagination.

What kind of movie could it possibly be? Well, it doesn't look exactly like a comedy, but I think of it that way.

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